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Beyond the divides, Erwin Schulhoff summarised contemporary influences; with

his works performed in Salzburg, Prague, Vienna and Geneva, he became an

eminent figure among the composers of his time, using a style nourished by both

modernity and tradition and spiced with audacity and imaginativeness: his String

Quartet no. 1 shows those features quite strongly.

Composed in Prague in 1924 and first performed at theVienna Festival in September

1925, this short quartet adopts classical sonata formbut places the slowmovement

at the end, thus creating a contrasting decrescendo. Slavonic melodies and strong

rhythms predominate exuberantly in the first three movements, particularly the

Allegro giocoso alla slovacca

, whose frenzied, dance-like rhythm has a somewhat

burlesque quality.

The final movement,

Andante molto sostenuto

, is more sombre, its line drawn out

into a tormented, meditative melody, wreathed in strangeness.

This capacity for expressing great energy as well as sounding the depths of

melancholy is something we also find in the works of Janáček.